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As Microsoft's Joe Belfiore told the New York Times, "Apple created a sea change in the industry in terms of the kinds of things they did that were unique and highly appealing to consumers. We wanted to respond with something that would be competitive, but not the same."
Recently a Microsoft exec that oversees Windows Phone software design discussed how the Windows Phone OS was reworked as a response to the iPhone. Once the iPhone was released, the then-current Windows Phone OS was already obsolete, and was not going to be able to compete.